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Drug War Chronicle
(formerly The Week Online with DRCNet)

Issue #355, 9/24/04

"Raising Awareness of the Consequences of Drug Prohibition"

Phillip S. Smith, Editor
David Borden, Executive Director

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. EDITORIAL: THE MORAL CHOICE IS CLEAR
    David Borden comments on the Judaic traditions in criminal justice and how radically the drug laws conflict with them, especially mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
  2. WITH NEW SENTENCING LEGISLATION PENDING IN CONGRESS, CHURCH LEADERS URGE AN END TO MANDATORY MINIMUMS
    In a sign of the growing opposition to draconian sentencing, legislators and leaders of mainstream religious denominations held a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday to denounce a new mandatory minimums bill and support another bill to repeal them.
  3. PATIENTS, DOCTORS, SUPPORTERS HEAD TO WASHINGTON TO DEMAND RESCHEDULING OF MARIJUANA AS A MEDICINE
    Medical marijuana patients and supporters are heading to Washington in less than two weeks to demand the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) reschedule marijuana as a medicine.
  4. FOR SECOND YEAR, JOHN W. PERRY FUND HELPS STUDENTS WITH DRUG CONVICTIONS AFFORD COLLEGE
    According to the US Department of Education, more than 153,000 persons have lost eligibility to receive student loans, grants, even work-study jobs to further their education, under the infamous drug provision of the Higher Education Act. The John W. Perry Fund, a scholarship fund sponsored by DRCNet Foundation to assist such would-be students, has begun its second year by awarding scholarships to four new and one returning grantee.
  5. DRCNET INTERVIEW: MICHAEL BADNARIK, LIBERTARIAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
    DRCNet begins its coverage of drug policy and the presidential election season this year with Libertarian Party nominee Michael Badnarik. The Libertarian Party (LP) has for years been a staunch advocate of ending drug prohibition.
  6. DRCNET BOOK REVIEW: "PATIENTS IN THE CROSSFIRE: CASUALTIES IN THE WAR ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA," BY AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS
    Compiled by Americans for Safe Access, the aggressive grassroots medical marijuana defense group that sprang up in response to the initial Ashcroft raids on California patients and providers, "Patients in the Crossfire" a compendium of the stories of medical marijuana users imprisoned, prosecuted, and persecuted by local, state, and federal authorities.
  7. ACTION ALERT: STILL TIME TO CONTACT JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABOUT HEA DRUG PROVISION
    Last month, DRCNet sent an action alert to subscribers living states which have Senators who sit on the Judiciary Committee. There's still time to act on it.
  8. NEWSBRIEF: SCHWARZENEGGER SIGNS SYRINGE ACCESS BILL, VETOES NEP BILL
    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger(R) has signed into law legislation that allows people to buy up to 10 syringes at a time without a prescription. The Governator also vetoed a bill to loosen the requirements on city health departments to constantly re-approve syringe exchange programs every few weeks.
  9. NEWSBRIEF: SCHWARZENEGGER VETOES BILL BARRING HIGH SCHOOL DRUG TESTING
    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Saturday vetoed a bill that would have prevented school districts in the state from conducting random drug tests of students. The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Vasconcellos (D), had garnered not only bipartisan support in the legislature, but was also backed by the state Parent Teachers Association.
  10. NEWSBRIEF: NEW JERSEY NEEDLE EXCHANGE BILL ON FAST TRACK, PASSES FIRST HURDLE
    What a difference a month and a scandal makes. In mid-summer, New Jersey Governor James McGreevey (D) was riding high and opposed needle exchange programs (NEP) in practice, if not in theory. Now, after being forced into resigning his office in November because of scandal, McGreevey has had a change of heart, and the legislature has responded accordingly.
  11. NEWSBRIEF: FORMER CHILD ACTOR MACAULEY CULKIN BUSTED FOR DRUGS IN ALL-TOO-TYPICAL CAVE-IN TO POLICE SEARCH REQUEST
    Former child star Macauley Culkin, 24, and a companion were arrested on drug charges in Oklahoma City on September 17 in an all-too-typical traffic stop turned drug bust. A popular video providing civil liberties training for the high-pressure situation of a police encounter could have helped Culkin avoid being caught.
  12. NEWSBRIEF: MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW BRINGS MEDICAL MARIJUANA ISSUE TO THE MASSES
    The medicinal use of marijuana was the sole topic on Tuesday's edition of the Montel Williams TV talk show. Williams, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, has become an increasingly vocal proponent of medical marijuana.
  13. NEWSBRIEF: BUSH WARNS OF CANADA DRUG THREAT, WHISTLES PAST AFGHAN OPIUM FIELDS
    President George Bush used the publication of the annual State Department list of major drug-producing or trafficking countries September 16 to single out Canada for criticism over its possible decriminalization of marijuana and its lack of severe punishment for pot offenders." At the same time, Bush soft-pedaled "concerns" about opium production in Afghanistan , which has skyrocketed under the US-installed government of President Hamid Karzai.
  14. NEWSBRIEF: GUATEMALA SEEKS MORE ANTI-DRUG MONEY FROM UNITED STATES
    Just days after once again being named to the State Department's list of major drug-producing or transiting countries, Guatemala called on the US to pay up if it wanted better results in the Central American nation long known as a major transshipment point for cocaine heading north from Colombia.
  15. NEWSBRIEF: DECADES OF COLOMBIAN DRUG WAR BRINGS... NEW, MORE EFFICIENT DRUG ORGANIZATIONS
    Colombia's decades-long effort to wipe out the drug trade at the insistence and with the assistance of the United States has mainly succeeded in creating new, more efficient drug trafficking organizations, according to one of that country's top cops.
  16. NEWSBRIEF: NARC HATES FREE PUBLICITY
    DRCNet reported last month on the web site of Leon Carmichael, an Alabama man facing marijuana and money laundering charges, whose right to post the names and photographs of a DEA agent and two informants on the Internet in what his attorney calls an effort to gain information for his defense has been upheld two times by federal courts. Now, the DEA agent identified by the web site has gone to federal court seeking an order to have his photos removed.
  17. NEWSBRIEF: THIS WEEK'S CORRUPT COPS STORY
    A US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer in Washington state is in the slammer after getting caught coming back from Canada with 535 pounds of the dreaded "BC bud" in the back of his van. His explanation... blackmail.
  18. NEWSBRIEF: BRITISH DRUG POLICY THINK TANK SAYS GOVERNMENT ABANDONED PLANNED HEROIN MAINTENANCE EXPANSION
    In 2002, British Home Secretary David Blunkett announced that the number of licenses granted to doctors to prescribe heroin should be increased from fewer than 50 to more than 1,500, to remove the supply of the drug from the black market. But two years later, the National Treatment Agency, the government body responsible for dealing with addiction, has reported that instead of increasing 30-fold as Blunkett suggested, the number of doctors with heroin maintenance prescribing licenses has only doubled, to 123.
  19. THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
    Drug lords, drug bills, drug arrest stats, protests.
  20. THE REFORMER'S CALENDAR
    Showing up at an event can be the best way to get involved! Check out this week's calendar for events from today through next year, across the US and around the world!

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Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

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